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Blackjack Side Bets Explained: Payouts and Odds

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Blackjack Side bets are additional bets that we can find on every live blackjack table.

Most casino players are familiar with these types of bets but some are not and just avoid placing a side bet because of that.

In this article, we are going to look at some of the main topics around blackjack side bets like:

  • What are Blackjack side bets
  • Popular Online Blackjack tables with side bets
  • All the Blackjack Side Bets we can find in online casinos
  • The different payouts and odds.

First of all let’s answer the 2 main questions that many new blackjack players have:

What are Blackjack Side Bets?

Blackjack side bets are optional bets that players can make in addition to their main bet. Usually, the side bets are independent of the main bet. What this means is that you can still win your side bet even if you lose your main hand bet.

Are Blackjack Side Bets worth it?

Blackjack side bets have a high house edge. This means that the casino has a greater advantage over you. If you are playing with strategy and you are trying to reduce the house edge then blackjack side bets might not be for you. On the other hand, if you are a purely recreational player then side bets can offer you the excitement of bigger wins as payouts can be lucrative.

Popular Blackjack Tables with Side Bets

Below you can see some of the most popular live blackjack tables with side bets. You can find these tables in many online casinos.

Now that you know what BJ side bets are let’s have a look at some more specific details like the types of side bets and odds.

Types of Blackjack Side Bets and Rules

While land-based casinos have a great range of side bets, this is not the case with live blackjack online. In this article, we are looking mainly at these blackjack types of bets that we can find in live dealer blackjack tables.

This includes games from all the big software providers like Evolution and Playtech that are available in all the popular online casinos like William Hill Casino.

Types of Blackjack Side Bets

These most popular blackjack side bets are:

  • 21+3
  • Perfect Pairs/Any Pair also known as Pair Bet Blackjack
  • Bet Behind
  • Insurance
  • Hot 3
  • Bust it

Let’s have a look at each one of them in more detail including odds.

Blackjack Side Bets Rules

21+3

The 21+3 side bet is one of the most popular ones. This live blackjack side bet is based on the first two cards the player is dealt and the dealer’s face card.

So it’s a combination of the player’s cards and the dealer cards.

If the combination of these blackjack cards is a straight, a flush, a straight flush, a three of a kind or Suited Trips then the player wins. The payouts depend on the strength of the hand and as we can see below start from 5 to 1 and can be as high as 100 to 1!

21+3 blackjack side bet payouts

Perfect Pairs

Perfect Pairs are also known as PP and is a very simple blackjack side bet. A Perfect Pairs side bet wins if the first two cards dealt to a player are a pair.

This can be mixed pair i.e. a diamond and a club card, a coloured pair i.e. a diamond and a heart card, or perfect pairs i.e. a pair of 2 diamonds.

Different pairs pay different odds. Perfect Pair payout odds 25 to 1 – Colored Pair pays 12 to 1 – Mixed Pair pays 6 to 1.

Perfect Pairs blackjack side bet payouts

Any Pair

This is the same type of side bet as Perfect Pair with a difference in the payout. Any Pair pays out 25 to 1 for a Suited Pair and 8/1 for Mixed Pair.

Any Pair payouts

Hot 3

Hot 3 is a new live blackjack side bet that we can find on Infinite Blackjack and Free Blackjack tables. The side bet is based on the totals or combination of the players first 2 cards and the dealers face-up card.

A player wins with a total of 19 and above with a side bet, blackjack payout odds starting from 1 to 1 for a total of 19 and go all the way to 100 to 1 for a 7-7-7 combination.

Bust It

Bust It is another new blackjack side bet that we can find in live dealer casinos. You are betting on the dealer going bust. The payout depends on the number of cards before the dealer goes bust.

If they bust with just 3 cards the payout is Evens and the more cards it takes the higher the payout up to 250 to 1 for 8 + cards.

Are Bet Behind and Insurance side bets?

Even though Bet Behind and Insurance are not classic Side bets, some will still class them as such because these are bets that are in addition to your main bet.

Bet Behind

This is classed as a blackjack side bet but it doesn’t really follow the same principles of a side bet because it’s not an additional bet to your main hand. Bet Behind is actually a bet on another players hand.

It can be placed by any player on the table or by a player that is waiting for a seat. The tricky bit here is that you don’t play the hand yourself but another player. So no decisions are made by you.

Insurance

Insurance is a side bet designed to protect players from a dealer blackjack. This side bet is only available if the dealer’s up-card is an ace. Similarly to Bet Behind this is bet is part of your main hand bet and not an additional independent bet.

The idea behind placing an insurance wager is to give players a better chance of receiving a payout even if they don’t win the hand as it is designed to reduce the house edge under certain circumstances.

The bet required is half the initial stake and Insurance side bets pay 2:1 if the dealer gets a blackjack. However, if the dealer doesn’t get a blackjack and you don’t win the hand you end up losing your initial stake + half of the initial stake which is the insurance.

So if we take into consideration odds and payouts the general advice is to not take insurance.

Here is a blackjack side bets infographic to summarise the types of blackjack side bets.

blackjack side bets infographic

Best Casinos that you can play Live Blackjack with Side Bets

Here are our recommended best UK live casinos for Live Blackjack.